Five spice powder gets its name from the five elements, not because it contains five spices as many believe. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the five elements are manifested in different parts of the body and if there are imbalances in these elements, disease can result. For thousands of years, different herbs and spices have been used to bring balance to these elements and that is how five-spice powder came to be.
The anticoagulant effects of cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon prevents blood clots, which helps to reduce the risk of both strokes and heart attacks. Cloves is known to provide high levels of vitamin A and can help to improve digestion by boosting the secretion of digestive enzymes. Szechuan Peppercorns provide a boost to your digestion by increasing the secretion of gastrointestinal juices and enzymes. Fennel seeds are a rich source of antioxidants like quercetin and of dietary fiber. Star anise contains a plant-based compound called shikimic acid that is also found in ginkgo. When combined with quercetin, shikimic acid has been found to improve the function of the immune system.